The aroma of fresh flowers hanging in the air that hits your senses when you walk into Flowers on Broad Street is a sweet mash-up of roses, hydrangea, and peonies mixed with a hint of masculine earthiness. It instantly makes you wish you could bottle it up and take it home with you. There is something about fresh-cut flowers that brings a bit of lightness and a whole lot of happiness to a room, and that is exactly how I felt inside Flowers on Broad Street.
When I was deciding on the next business to spotlight for my weekly local buzz post I knew I wanted to highlight a business that I have had personal experience with. My husband has been ordering flowers from Flowers on Broad Street for almost five years. Before our first wedding anniversary, he took them a picture of our wedding centerpieces and asked them to remake it into a smaller bouquet to have delivered on our anniversary. Each October I receive a beautiful replica bouquet of the centerpieces we had at our wedding and it instantly sends me right back to that unforgettable night. I knew that if they could recreate something so special for me year after year, they had to be doing something special each and every day. I knew they were the business I wanted to feature and find out about the driving passion behind the beautiful and fresh flowers.
Earlier this week I had the opportunity to meet with Donna Pittman, the owner of Flowers on Broad Street, and her right-hand woman, Melissa, in their cozy meeting space within the floral shop. Despite thinking I was only going to need about thirty minutes of their precious time, we ended up talking like old friends for over an hour.
Donna, an army brat whose father was stationed at Fort Bragg, studied horticulture at NC State because she always wanted to be a grower but realized that growers don’t really ever get to touch the flowers. Their job is much less glamorous: pulling shade cloth, hauling pots and loading the trucks. Her first business was a plant maintenance company which she started during the green revolution. Yes, I had to google green revolution when I got home. History was never my favorite topic in school. She then she opened a plant shop thinking “everyone is going to want to buy plants” but quickly realized that every man that came in wanted to buy flowers so she switched gears again. She stumbled across downtown Fuquay-Varina during Hurricane Fran when she brought her son’s go-kart to a small engine shop on the corner of Broad Street. She decided to walk down the street and noticed how quaint the little town was and quickly realized how perfect it would be for her next business venture. She opened Flowers on Broad Street almost 22 years ago and has fallen in love with the town and its people.
Flowers on Broad Street offers so much more than just flowers for everyday occasions, weddings, proms, and funerals. Besides having the most friendly staff and top-notch customer service, they have a wide collection of unique vases and other trinkets to hold your plants and/or flowers, wreaths that are handmade in-house, faux floral stems for your own decorating adventures, and even a display of locally made soy candles. They also run a weekly special on Wednesdays where they offer a variety of loose stems for half off which generates a lot of traffic, especially with males.
I asked Donna what event excites her the most when it comes to designing flowers and while she said she couldn’t pick one, both her and Melissa agreed they love the fact that they intimately get to know people. Whether it is for weddings or funerals, it is that fact that families are sharing their lives and allowing them to be a part of their major life phenomenon that they enjoy the most.
Donna said the most unique thing about the floral industry is that each year the flowers change, whether that is by selection or color. When she first started in this industry there were not as many flowers readily available. You had your basic carnations, baby’s breath, roses, and Lilly’s, which were a premium flower at the time, and now the possibilities seem endless. Flowers on Broad gets the majority of their flowers locally from Fuquay and Cary, but they also get them flown in from Holland and South America.
Since opening Flowers on Broad Street Donna has been inducted into the American Institute of Floral Designers (the most prestigious of them all) and the North Carolina State Florist Association Hall of Fame. She has been named the North Carolina Designer of the Year and the Southern Retail Designer of the Year and has won the NC James Treadaway Cup. If this doesn’t give you any inkling into the passion and love she has for all things flowers and floral designs, I don’t know what will.
Donna said the only goal in her career that she hasn’t reached yet is becoming a destination. She wants people to want to travel to her shop, whether it is for the flowers or the wreaths, but she just wants to be a destination. She wants the name Flowers on Broad to be a known name so if you are reading this post, let us help her make that goal a reality!
Fun facts about Donna:
- I hit her with the ever so tricky “what is your favorite flower” question. Her favorite flower used to be gardenia but at this point, she loves all flowers way too much to pick a front-runner!
- Her most memorable and special event that she has done flowers for was her daughter Jennifer’s wedding.
- She said one thing that is a misconception is competition from other people selling flowers. She wants people to sell flowers, what she doesn’t want is for people to sell bad flowers. The more that people buy flowers the more they will love them!
You can find Flowers on Broad Street on Facebook, Instagram, and the web. You can order via phone or the web, but going into the store, smelling all the wonderful smells and picking out the flowers yourself is the most fun! As an added bonus, if you stop in the store and mention my blog they will give you 20% off your retail purchase through August 31! Happy Flower Shopping, friends!